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Full text of "The Letters Of Horace Walpole Vol I"

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the only person acquainted with their excellencies. Plato * improves every day; so does my friendship with him. These three divide my whole time, though I believe you will guess there is no quadruple alliance5; that was a happiness which I only enjoyed when you was at Eton. A short account of the Eton people at Oxford would much oblige, . My dear West, your faithful friend,
H. WALPOLE.
6.   To G-EORGE MONTAGU 1.
DEAR SlR,                                          King's College, May 2,1736.
Unless I were to be married myself, I should despair ever being able to describe a wedding so well as you have done : had I known your talent before, I would have desired an epithalamium. I believe the Princess2 will have more beauties bestowed on her by the occasional poets, than even a painter would afford her. They will cook up a new Pandora,
« Thomas Ashton (1716-1775), contemporary of Horace Walpole at Eton and at Bong's College, Cambridge, where his knowledge of Greek seems to have gained him the nickname of ' Plato.1    He took orders and was Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, 1737 ; Fellow of Eton College, 1745 ; Rector of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, 1752;   Preacher to   the  Society of Lincoln's Tn-p; 1762.   Ashton was for many years on very intimate terms with Horace Walpole (who in 1740 addressed to him a Poetical Epistle from  Florence), but  in 1750   they quarrelled, and their acquaintance ceased entirely.    Walpole  accused Ashton of interested motives ('my father is dead, and I can make no bishops'), and finally forbade him his house, in consequence of Ashton's having   -written   against  the Free Inquiry of Conyers Middleton, who was a friend of Horace Walpole. (See letter to Mann, July 25,1750.) 8 Thus as boys they had called the
intimacy formed at Eton between Walpole, Gray, West, and Ashton. (Berry.)
LETTER 6.—* George Montagu (d. 1780), eldest son of Brigadier Edward Montagu, and nephew of the second Earl of Halifax. He was Usher of the Black Rod in Ireland during the Viceroyalty of his cousin, the Earl of Halifax (1761-63); Ranger of Selsey Forest; Private Secretary to Lord North when Chancellor of the Exchequer ; and sometime member for Northampton. His friendship with Horace Walpole began at Eton, and lasted till within ten years of Montagu's death, the breach, according to Walpole, being due partly to political differences, and partly to caprice on Montagu's part. (See letter to Cole, May 11,1780.)
2 Frederick Prince of Wales married (April 27, 1736) Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, who survived him and died in 1772.